Sensitive teeth can make normal oral activities like drinking and eating really miserable and painful. Do you occasionally feel a sharp pain in your tooth or teeth that causes you to wince (maybe when you take a hot or cold drink)? Then you should understand that you might be experiencing what is referred to as “tooth sensitivity”.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the gums are pulled back to expose the dentin (inner layer of the dental structure) lying beneath. The dentin contains many tiny tubes that lead directly to the pulp (which is the tooth’s nerve centre, or innermost part of the dental structure).
Hot, cold, sweet or sour drinks and even air from oral breathing can then find their way to the pulp. The resultant effect of the contact with the nerves is that sharp pain.
CAUSES OF TEETH SENSITIVITY
Teeth sensitivity can be caused by any of the following:
Using the wrong Toothbrush and Brushing Techniques
Using a toothbrush with hard bristles causes the gums to wear out over time and can cause the dentin to become exposed. Apart from brushing aggressively, brushing too often can also wear out the gum.
Tooth decay which is caused by plaque build-up on the teeth can also cause the teeth to become sensitive, as the bony structure of the tooth will be torn down.
A broken tooth will allow passage of fluid into the pulp. This makes the teeth sensitive.
If you are fond of clenching your teeth together and grinding them, you had better watch it because you are gradually wearing away the enamel in that tooth which might eventually result in teeth sensitivity.
Also, dental operations like filling a cavity or replacing a tooth can cause temporary sensitivity of the teeth.
Tooth-whitening products can also cause the teeth to become sensitive.
Foods with high acid content like those in the citrus family can cause the enamel to get worn out leading to teeth sensitivity.
IS THERE A SOLUTION? YES!
So, have you got sensitive teeth and you really want to leave that painful zone? Then let’s see a few tips that will help your teeth heal.
First, you will have to stay away from those hot or cold drinks in the meantime so as to avoid triggering pain in the teeth.
If you’ve been using a toothbrush with hard bristles, it’s time then to change it. Get a soft-bristled toothbrush instead.
Brush more gently if you’ve been aggressive on your gums. Also, brush regularly but not too often so as to prevent further build-up of plaque and tartar.
Using desensitizing toothpaste will stop sensation from getting to the teeth nerves thereby reducing teeth sensitivity. Several applications of this may, however, be needed for appreciable results.
If the above do not heal your sensitive tooth, you might need to seek professional dental attention.